Column: Great day to be at the races

Published 6:36 am Wednesday, August 23, 2006

By Staff
BROOKLYN – The racing season at Michigan International Speedway wrapped up on Sunday with the GFS Marketplace 400.
And I have to say, the racing was the best I have seen in the three years that I have been covering the NASCAR races there.
For the first time in a while, there was real, side-by-side racing.
Michigan had been getting a reputation as a dull race because it was follow the leader.
Not the case on Sunday.
There were plenty of lead changes, and not just on pitstops, but on the track. I am sure the fans got their monies worth.
But I think the fans got the most fun out of the pre-race ceremonies when they got to boo Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earnhardt Jr. and Carl Edwards got into it on the final lap of the Busch race on Saturday.
Edwards was leading and got a little loose causing him to slide up in front of Earnhardt, who was battling with Robbie Gordon for second place.
There was no doubt that Earnhardt Jr. hit Edwards and caused him to crash.
But what was Earnhardt Jr. to do? Was he supposed to lift and let both Gordon and Edwards head off toward the victory?
This was the final lap of the race. All three drivers were battling for the victory.
Had this been a lap early on in the race or near the middle of the race I am sure that things would have been different.
The job of each racer is to win the race. If you can keep from spinning someone out to do it fine. If you can't, you must live with the consequences.
The consequences on Saturday was that Edwards decided to come around, stop in front of Junior's pitstall and give him a piece of his mind.
He then took his car back out on the track and smashed into Earnhardt Jr.'s car. Earnhardt had his hand out the window and was quite surprised by a car smashing into him.
Luckily there was no damage done except to the race car.
Edwards then interrupted the Victory Lane celebration to continue his vocal displeasure with Earnhardt.
I don't have a problem with Edwards getting in Earnhardt Jr.'s face. I do have a problem with him smashing his car into Earnhardt's.
NASCAR has got to put its foot down when it comes to drivers using their vehicles for payback. They need to start suspending drivers, not just fining them and putting them on probation.
Settle your differences in the garage area like men. Don't act like little kids and throw your car at someone.
I like Carl Edwards and I think he is going to have a tremendous future in this sport. But he, like Tony Stewart, is going to have to learn to deal with his emotions in a more mature fashion.